Darfur: at least 168 people killed in violence, aid group says

The violence is the latest surge in such incidents in the war-torn region.

Western Darfur is home to many people displaced by conflict in the region in the early 2000s, during which the government cracked down on armed rebels with the help of nomadic Arab militias known as the Janjaweed.

About 2.5 million people were displaced by the violence and 300,000 people were killed. Former President Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes. The trial of one of his aides, known as Ali Kushayb, began earlier this month.

The Coordinating Committee for Refugees and Displaced Persons accused the Janjaweed militias of trying to clear the area to take control of it.

They called for the return of the international peacekeepers who have been withdrawn since January 2020.

Representatives of the Arab tribes did not respond to calls for comment.

Violence erupted between Arab nomads and Masalit farmers on Friday in Krajnik after an individual quarrel, according to several non-governmental organizations.

The Coordinating Committee shared photos of burned buildings. The Darfur Bar Association stated that some 20,000 people were displaced as a result of the violence.

Tensions spread to the nearby city of El Geneina, relief groups said, where shops were ordered to close after sunset.

“Another outbreak of urban violence that killed and injured hundreds of civilians in the city of Geneina last year is a very real and immediate possibility,” said a humanitarian aid official, who said roadblocks had been set up throughout the city.

Violence in Darfur has escalated following an agreement in October 2020 between the country’s post-Bashir transitional government and some of the armed groups that fought in Darfur.

Around 430,000 people were displaced last year alone, according to aid groups.

“This demonstrates that the agreement has not had a positive impact on human lives or security in the states of Darfur,” the Darfur Bar Association said in a statement on Saturday.

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